Rocco Baldelli, Jorge Cantu and Damon Hollins also homered for Tampa Bay, which set a season high for runs.
Tim Corcoran (2-0) allowed three hits in seven shutout innings in his third career start with Tampa Bay. He struck out eight and walked three, and allowed only one Nationals runner to reach third. He has allowed two runs in 151/3 innings this year.
How I Stacked Up
Here's what the '3 Up, 3 Down' you see on the sidebar (based strictly on my opinion) would have looked like had I gone with Win Probability...
SP Tim Corcoran: 25.4 WPA
LF Carl Crawford: 18.0 WPA
CF Rocco Baldelli: 8.4 WPA
RF Damon Hollins: -6.6 WPA
1B-3B Ty Wigginton: -3.7 WPA
2B Jorge Cantu: -1.4 WPA
RP Edwin Jackson: 0.1 WPA???
I picked an extremely poor night to miss the Rays game, as I was in Clearwater watching the Phillies' Single A team play, and apparently I wasn't the only one, as they did set a Clearwater minor league attendance record last night. However I gladly would have abstained from going to watch this 11-1 beatdown of the Washington Nationals. And to think that I had predicted this would be the one game in the series that we would lose!
Like they say, a box score says a thousand words (err, something like that), so I was able to pick up on most of what happened, but to derive true pleasure from this game, I had to have witnessed it with my own two eyes, and unfortunately I did not. Maybe they will have an encore performance today to placate my absence (yeah right, this happens about as often as an intelligent statement coming out of George Bush's mouth).
Apparently Carl Crawford went off on the Nats to break his little slide, hitting two home runs while Rocco Baldelli, Jorge Cantu, and Damon Hollins also connected. Aubrey Huff also got in on the action, going 3 for 3 with a walk and three doubles in the effort as the Rays scored eight times in a three inning span.
However perhaps most importantly, Tim Corcoran proved he could get out of the fifth inning, going seven strong while allowing just six baserunners and striking out seven. I will admit that I had my doubts about his viability as a starter, but his performance today, and his excellent five inning bursts before that have made him a viable rotation option in the rotation, if not long term, for a good chunk of the rest of the season. At the very least, he looks like a good bet to be in the bullpen for the rest of the season. See that Lou, that is what happens when you give pitchers what we call a "chance", something that does not involve leaving them to rot on the bullpen bench for ten days because you want to play crappy veterans instead.
Edwin Jackson and Jon Switzer rounded out the game, with Jackson giving up the ballgame's lone run in allowing four baserunners in the inning. Yeah, we really need that "live arm" in the bullpen along with his 6.75 ERA. Switzer pitched a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 2.45 on the season since being called up from Durham, once again affirming that he should have been called up sooner.
But I'm not going to dwell too much on the past, or Jackson now, an 11-1 win is an 11-1 win, and for Rays fans, it is sweet. Let's hope they didn't use up their run output for the series.
Minor League Minute
- Durham-The Bulls defeated the Tidewater (screw you, Norfolk) Tides 8-4 on Friday night. Delmon Young went 3 for 3, and drove in four, but most importantly, hit his first home run of the season off of Jose Lima (eh, take what you want from that). B.J. Upton went 2 for 4 with a double, triple, and three runs scored in the game. Chris Seddon started for the Bulls and gave up two earned on four walks and hits in 4.1 innings, and left having thrown 88 pitches. Jeff Ridgway pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings, and Juan Salas shut out the Tides for two innings to close out the ballgame and maintain his scoreless streak. The Bulls take on Norfolk again tonight at seven, Brian Stokes goes to the mound for the Bulls.
- Montgomery-The Biscuits were able too squeeze out a 7-6 win over the Mississippi Braves on Friday night thanks to a fielding error in the bottom of the ninth inning that allowed the winning run to score for the Biscuits. Michael Coleman went 3 for 4 with a home run while Gaby Martinez had two hits for the Biscuits. Wes Bankston and Elliot Johnson each had one hit or Montgomery. Jeff Niemann pitched 5.2 frames for Montgomery, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits and three walks. He also struck out five. Marcos Carvajal went 2.1 scoreless for the Biscuits. The Braves and Biscuits play again tonight at 8:00 with Montgomery sending Andy Sonnanstine to the mound.
- Visalia-The Oaks won their second half debut 11-8 over the Stockton Ports on Friday night. Reid Briganc and Patrick Breen homered for Visalia, while Brignac, Chirs Nowak and Rays No. 1 draft pick Evan Longoria each picked up two hits for the Oaks. John Jaso and Breen picked up three hits as every player in the Visalia lineup picked up at least one hit. Derek Feldkamp picked up the win for Visalia by giving up just four runs in five innings, while James Houser pitched in relief for Visalia and gave up a solo home run in 0.2 innings of work. Jon Barratt goes to the hill tonight for Visalia in Game #2 against Stockton.
- Southwest Michigan-The M-Rays were blown out 11-2 by Matt Busch and the Ft. Wayne Wizards on Friday night. Rhyne Hughes and Alex Jamieson were the only players in the M-Rays' lineup with multiple hits, they each had two. Mike Wlodarczyk ate most of those 11 runs, surrendering seven runs, six earned, in 4.1 innings for Battle Creek. He also walked five. The M-Rays aim to snap an eight game slide tonight at C.O. Brown Stadium as they send Greg Reinhard to the mound.
- Hudson Valley-Hudson Valley used a five run first to push past the Staten Island Yankees 7-6 on Friday night. Matt Spring, Jairo de la Rosa, and Ryan Royster, among others, had hits for Hudson Valley, while Woods Fines gave up three earned in five innings for the 'Gades. Hudson Valley hosts the Yankees tonight at 7:10, and the Renegades send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound to try for the win.
- Princeton-The P-Rays dropped a 7-4 final to the Burlington Indians on Friday night in 10 innings. Andrew Lopez and Henry Wrigley each had a hit for Princeton, while Mike McCormick went hitless for the P-Rays. Ryan (no, not Samuel) Morse gave up two earned in 5.1 innings for the P-Rays. Bladimir Florentino hits the hill for Princeton tonight as they continue their set with the B-Indians.
St. Petersburg Times
The Tampa Tribune